Nurse Aide Testing - Nursing Assistant Registry - Minnesota Department of Health

Nurse Aide Testing Information

MDH selected D&SDT-Headmaster as the test contractor for placement on the Minnesota Nursing Assistant Registry. Testing on the Headmaster platform began on Feb. 1, 2022. Testing materials, candidate handbooks, and information about training sessions for the platform are posted on the D&SDT-Headmaster - Minnesota Nurse Aide website.

Registration for the Nurse Aide Skills and Knowledge tests is now open on the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MNSCU) website. Nurse Aide candidates who have completed their training program or would like to challenge the test can register for a date and time at the Minnesota State Nursing Assistant Testing website.

Candidate Handbook Updates

Periodically, MDH may update the Nurse Aide Candidate Handbooks and/or Mock Skills in order to reflect the most current guidance. Changes to the Headmaster MN Candidate Handbook or Mock Skills will be communicated through GovDelivery email messages and posted below. Notifications will be sent 30 days prior to implementation of the changes and will be sent three times before the implementation date.

The MN Headmaster website will identify that the handbook or mock skills have been updated, with the effective date in red as shown in the example image below. The changes are denoted on the first page of the handbook with a note that directs the reader to the areas and pages that are changing. These changes will be highlighted in the text of the handbook as well.

screenshot of the button on the Headmaster website with red text indicating the date that changes are effective

Frequently-Asked Questions

General Information

The State’s contract with Headmaster is two years, with the option for an additional 2 years.

There are several differences in the test offered by Headmaster and the previous contractor, in both the Knowledge and Skills tests. You can see a detailed comparison in this document:

MDH approves all testing sites for Minnesota, with support from Headmaster. Currently, the only test sites in MN are at colleges in the Minnesota State System. Every testing site will complete a professional contract and submit it to Headmaster. The site will submit pictures of the testing room to validate the site has the required equipment and space to perform a testing event. Once this is completed, MDH will communicate to the site via email that it has been approved for the new testing platform.

If a test site wants to test more than one candidate in one room, they must submit a Large Lab Waiver Submission form (available on the D&SDT-Headmaster - Minnesota Nurse Aide website). The sites need to identify how visual and audio separation will be maintained between the two candidates. They need to submit sketches and/or pictures that identify separation of equipment, beds, sinks, and two sets of supplies on the 1503 form. If there are questions, Headmaster and/or MDH may request additional information or a virtual tour of the test site to determine their availability to complete this request. Once the waiver is approved, MDH will send the test site an email identifying the approval for the Large Lab Wavier.

Yes, the lab waiver can be resubmitted with additional information.

Yes, test sites can submit the current background study they have on file to Headmaster.

Yes, MDH will continue to survey test sites when they have availability.

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Testing Process

Each testing site determines if they will offer the knowledge test virtually, or at the testing location. If a testing site offers the knowledge test on-site, computers will need to be available.

This is not an option due to the billing process. A testing site must choose one option.

Headmaster has 12 different knowledge tests. If more than 12 candidates would be testing, the test site scheduler would need to contact D&SDT - HEADMASTER to create additional tests. Headmaster can create up to 20 tests.

The state-approved testing location can choose to have their staff be the test proctor or Headmaster can provide these services. Each test site will make that determination of the service level needed for their organization.

Test sites can cancel the event and notify students according to their policies and procedures. In the TMU software, the RN test observer can send a mass email notification to test candidates including notifying them of a test cancellation.

TMU Headmaster Software Questions

Headmaster has created several guides for instructors with detailed steps for how to use the TMU software, which are available on the D&SDT-Headmaster - Minnesota Nurse Aide website. These include:

The training program will register the students in the TMU software and certify they have completed the NATCEP course. For detailed instructions, review the Headmaster guide How to Enter Students in MN TMU Instructor Guide (PDF).

There will only be one login for each test site. Multiple people can use the same login but the system does not accommodate multiple users at one time. This login is used to create and schedule test events for the test site. The scheduling can also be done by the RN test observer for walk-in candidates if the test site desires.

MDH, Headmaster, and training programs and instructors will have this information, but this is not visible to the RN test observer. Once the candidate has completed 3 attempts without success the record will be archived in the software.

The software will identify if an RN test observer has trained the candidate and would not allow an RN test observer to test the candidate. If the RN test observer identifies other conflict of interest situations with a testing candidate, they should contact the scheduler for resolution. It is recommended the RN test observer review candidates who are scheduled to test prior to the testing events.

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Headmaster Form Questions

When the RN test observers use an actor for the first time, they should submit the social security number (SSN) along with 1250 form through the secured RN Test Observer TMU portal. When completed, cross off the SSN with sharpie and hand to administrative or support staff OR shred the form. Once the information is sent to Headmaster, the information is loaded into the system and is not needed.

The RN test observers only needs to fill out one form; D&SDT-Headmaster will affiliate the RN test observer with the different test sites.

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Skills Testing

Test sites will need to refer to the Large Lab Waiver Submission form (available on the D&SDT-Headmaster - Minnesota Nurse Aide website) for this request.

Yes, this is allowed if it meets the 1503 requirements. If additional candidates are testing in one room, a Large Lab Waiver (available on the D&SDT-Headmaster - Minnesota Nurse Aide website) needs to be requested.

The glasses are used for measuring fluids as part of the feeding skills test. At this time, the feeding skills test has been suspended. In preparation for future testing, test sites should have these glasses available. The glasses can be purchased through Headmaster or elsewhere.

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Knowledge Testing

The questions below have been compiled into this document for easy reference: Minnesota Nurse Aide Test FAQ (PDF).

Knowledge Test Structure

The reading level is between 5.4 to 5.6 reading level, meaning less than 6th grade reading level.

There are 70 questions on the test, and candidates must receive a score of 76% to pass the knowledge test.

Candidate tests from March 4 to April 4, 2022, indicated that candidates completed the test in an average of 36 minutes.

The total test time is determined by the average length of time a minimally competent person takes to complete; minimal competence is determined through statistical calculations. Another consideration that affects total test time is the fact that it takes longer for an individual to complete a test on paper than on a computer.

Test Content

Each state convenes a group of experts, called a Test Advisory Panel (TAP), which includes teachers and instructors that teach the nurse aide program curriculum to choose which questions appear on the test.

The Minnesota TAP consisted of 24 teachers and instructors; they chose the questions that are included on the Minnesota Nurse Aide Test based on a review of several Minnesota nurse aide program curricula.

The Minnesota TAP members chose 941 questions to be in the nurse aide test bank for test questions.

No, there are 70 questions. Those 70 questions are chosen from the bank of 941 available questions.

Yes, MDH can review, reword, change, or delete any of the test questions. As of May 2022, MDH has removed five test questions.

Each question is graded for difficulty on a scale of 0-1 based on a statistical calculation, a lower score indicates a more difficult question. A difficulty value less than 0.25 means that very few test takers answer the question correctly. Conversely, a difficulty value greater than 0.97 indicates that very few test takers ever miss the question.

The average value for all questions in Minnesota is 0.80.

MDH meets with Headmaster twice a month to review test questions and determine why candidates may not be passing certain questions. As a result, some test questions have been removed from the test.

During the monthly NAR Training Program video conferences, MDH will review areas where test results are lower. Information about past and upcoming calls can be found on the Nursing Assistant Registry Calls website.

The training program can use the Test Master Universe (TMU) software to review their students’ scores and areas where students are having more difficulty. They can adjust their teaching format to assist students in their testing.

Practice Tests

Headmaster’s practice tests are tests that are utilized across 19 different states. Some states have regulations that require certain areas of knowledge which Minnesota does not require.

MDH will be completing a Test Advisory Panel review of the practice tests in June 2022 in order to make the tests specific to Minnesota’s curriculum.

All states have a specific number of questions in each subject area based on the Test Advisory Panel team. When a practice test is purchased, Headmaster ensures it has the number of test questions required for each of the chosen state’s subject areas. Review the Knowledge Test Content section of the Minnesota Nursing Assistant Candidate Handbook (PDF) for additional information.

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Updated Monday, 13-Jun-2022 00:06:46 CDT